A few days ago, The Bag that has served me well for a few good years has finally given up. The Bag has lugged my crap for almost all occasions and yet remained presentable enough to match my wardrobe. I wasn't surprised since it has been in a dilapidated state for a long time and have gone through numerous repairs, both professional and last-minute, I'm-late-for-class ones. I got The Bag for cheap and yet it has lasted but a replacement is long overdue. The front pocket is hole-ridden, rendering it useless. The zippers have been replaced several times. The faux leather is slowly disintegrating. One of the front straps is held up by a "I <3 Singapore" pin, hidden of course because I still have a shred of dignity in me. Oddly enough, despite the disgraceful and unsecured state of The Bag, nothing has been stolen from me. Maybe thieves take one look at it and decide that none of its contents are worth stealing (and they would be right).
Really, I should have bought a replacement a long time ago. The problem is I'm rather picky with bags... no, I'm picky with everything. If I remember correctly I've bought bags for myself only thrice. I'm definitely not a bag hag. I'm not a girl who has an army of bags to suit every varying outfit and event.
As with everything, I have a hard time looking for bags because affordable sleek, minimalist things are simply not popular here. Yes, there is Muji but I'm not rich. The stores that I can afford to shop at carry mostly trendy things that I don't care for. To help me in my search I have come up with a list.
Things I do not want in a bag (or for most apparel, really)
1. gold hardware
3. busy prints
4. shiny fake leather
5. extraneous straps
6. tote bags
8. patent leather
9. obvious knock-off designs of It bags
11. overuse of zippers, studs, straps and chains
12. bags with more than two colors
13. oversized details
14. fake animal skin leather
15. in your face labels
Quite an extensive list. With those restrictions the best bag for me would resemble a plastic bag. Actually I have a bag that looks like a plastic bag, except that it's made of synthetic fabric. Every time I go to the mall I browse for a bag but I always go home empty handed.
But because The Bag cannot be used anymore, I am forced to find a replacement, stat. The one that I picked has actually been in the shortlist of Bags I Like and Can Afford but was never bought until now because I coerce myself to mull over purchases for weeks on end to make sure it's something I definitely want.
Oxygen is one of the few local labels that consistently release products that I like and would wear so it was not a miracle I bought The Replacement from there. It has none of the things I dislike. The Replacement is black, simple and functional with a good finish. It goes with everything in my closet. I just hope it lasts for at least a year because bag-shopping is not something I look forward to.